Rolling Stone asked the Presdent of the United States what news and opinon sources he reads.
Here were his answers:
[President Obama]: I spend a lot of time just reading reports, studies, briefing books, intelligence assessments.
[Rolling Stone]: Newspapers?
[President Obama]: I’ll thumb through all the major papers in the morning. I’ll read the Times and Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, just to catch up.
[Rolling Stone]: Do you read Paul Krugman?
[President Obama]: I read all of the New York Times columnists. Krugman’s obviously one of the smartest economic reporters out there, but I also read some of the conservative columnists, just to get a sense of where those arguments are going. There are a handful of blogs, Andrew Sullivan’s on the Daily Beast being an example, that combine thoughtful analysis with a sampling of lots of essays that are out there. The New Yorker and The Atlantic still do terrific work. Every once in a while, I sneak in a novel or a nonfiction book.
Barack Obama does not read me. Or Blue Gal. Or Atrios. Or Digby.
He does not read Balloon Juice or Rehctaw or First Draft. He reads neither Welcome Back to Pottersville nor Welcome to Pottersville 2. Neither Pandagon nor Rising Hegemon nor Watertiger does he read.
Although his press secretary bequeathed us the name (Thanks, Gibby!), Barack Obama has not listened to a single one of the 125 award-ready episodes of the Professional Left podcast.
Barack Obama does not know who Billmon was, or still feel the sting of the loss of Steve Gilliard.
He does not wonder WTF is happening with Fafblog or Group News Blog.
No, like everyone else in his rarefied echelon, he reads the Times, the Post and a handful of others, which means that no one in that world hears a peep from the peasants down in media steerage.
They do not hear any of our excellent scribblings proving (with geometric logic!) that David Brooks is a dangerous con man or that Tom Friedman is a joke, because no one who writes at the level the President reads would dare to say such thing. Even Mr. Sullivan, who fancies himself an edge-dwelling media contrarian whose play-by-my-own-rules views make the Beltway crowd nervous knows that to climb that ladder you suck up and punch down.
So, sure, Mr Sullivan will stick pins in Rush Limbaugh's racist ass, but when it comes to a David Brook, Mr. Sullivan has nothing praise or -- when Mr, Brooks is making an especially monumental public ass of himself -- the most genteel, supplicatory prose.
And for World Class Wanker #1 Tom Friedman, Mr. Sullivan can't break out the kid gloves fast enough:
"Tom Friedman gets a huge amount right here, as he often does."July, 2006:
"Tom Friedman has the best analysis I've yet read of what's going on in the Middle East."
"Tom Friedman threw up his hands last weekend - but his analysis was, to my mind, far too even-handed. "And even when Matt Taibbi absolutely and righteously nuked Mr. Friedman to sobbing, centrist atoms, brave, brave Sir Andrew knew he dare not touch the substance of what Matt was saying.
So instead he focused on Mr. Taibbi's technique:
Taibbi On A Roll
"Whatever you think of his critique, it's hard not to be impressed by the bravado prose..."Which, (A) makes Andrew Sullivan's critique of Walter Russell Mead's review of Tom Friedman's book as being too brown-nosy a small gem hilariously un-self-aware cluelessness:
Gagging On Log-Rolling
Walter Russell Mead's review of Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum's new book is a classic of the genre. For the order of the brown nose, the Dish bows in awe in front of the following sentences
Yes, he has some quibbles. But still. There's nothing quite so cloying as members of the establishment congratulating themselves on their brilliance.
And (B), should serve as a reminder of why so many care about what we read and see in the mainstream press and of us shout ourselves hoarse to be seen and heard by those who never hear a damn thing but what the Centrism drones at the New York Times and "Meet the Press" deliver to them hot and pre-digested.